Epsom Derby Legends

EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 2: Frankie Dettori screams with delight as Authorized lands The Vodafone Derby Stakes race run on June 2, 2007, in Epsom, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)With over 200 years of history, the Epsom Derby has been graced by performances by some of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses ever to have lived. With the race restricted to three year olds, great racehorses will only have only one opportunity to win this famous English Classic. Here is a small selection of some of the greatest Epsom Derby winners.

West Australian

The first ever winner of the English Triple Crown, West Australian won the Epsom Derby in 1853. Apart from winning the English Triple Crown, West Australian won only two other races ' the Grand Duke Michael Stakes and the 1854 Ascot Gold Cup. He was later sold to Emperor Napoleon III for breeding.

Flying Fox

The eight horse to win the English Triple Crown, Flying Fox won the 1899 Epsom Derby. The Epsom Derby winner was so moody and uncontrollable that his owners were only able to race him for two years. However during this short period Flying Fox excelled winning 8 races including the Prince of Wales Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting.


Gainsborough won the Epsom Derby on his way to becoming only the 13th thoroughbred racehorse to win the English Triple Crown in 1918. He capped this achievement off by winning the 1918 Ascot Gold Cup, marking himself as one of the greatest thoroughbreds in history. Following his racing career he moved onto an immensely successful stud career.


Fifinella was the 1916 Epsom Derby winner. She deserves special mention as the last filly to win the Epsom Derby, as well as being the last horse to have won both the Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks. She later moved onto a relatively unsuccessful career as a brood mare.


Canadian bred Nijinsky was arguably the greatest thoroughbred racehorse of the last century. The powerful Epsom Derby winner won 10 Group 1 races during his 2 year career. Nijinksy won the 1970 Epsom Derby as part of a winning streak that saw him become the last horse to have won the English Triple Crown.


Authorized is the most recent Epsom Derby winner, having taken the race in 2007. The Epsom Derby was Authorized-s penultimate race, earning the horse the title of European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt. In seven starts Authorized won four times, showed twice and finished unplaced in only one race.